EXERCISE AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

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EXERCISE AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

EXERCISE AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
For years now we have heard of how exercise is nature’s supplement for improving one’s mental health. It relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, alleviate anxiety, and boosts your mood overall. Studies also show exercise can help treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressants (Penedo & Dahn, 2005). Exercise releases endorphins in your brain that energises you and makes you feel good. To can also assist your over mood and self-esteem. When you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, hopeless, or being self-critical, it is the best time to exercise. Making time for exercise ultimately allows you to be more productive, through it may be difficult to find the motivation.

Research indicates that aerobic exerciser is ideal for approximately 20-40 minutes. However when you are starting out from inactivity even just a few minutes of physical activity is better than none. If you are a beginner, start with 5-10 minutes of gentle walking and slowly increase your time as you feel comfortable.

Here are some ways to motivate you to exercise:

- Find a work out buddy- exercising with a friend is always more enjoyable and gives you a chance to socialise. This can also motivate you to stick to your routine.

- Create a personal goal-but make sure they are small and realistic, then slowly increase them.

- Focus on activities you enjoy- such as dancing, cycling, swimming, or yoga.

- Find small ways to include movement in your day- such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or standing up and moving around your desk at work.

If you want to explore with a counsellor how this might work for you, please contact one of our counsellors.


Penedo, F & Dahn, J, 2005. Excercise and wellbeing: A Review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current Opinion in Psychiatry:Vol. 18- issue 2 p 189-193.

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